My Printer Won’t Print in Black: What Should I Do?

It’s a very common tale: you need to print something and your printer’s black ink has decided to take a permanent vacation. You go straight to Google and search for fixes to resolve this problem and run into several printer forums without a clear resolution. We’ve gotten calls on this issue as well so to help, we’ve put together a list of things you can do when your printer stops printing in black.

Some Basic Things To Start

1. Turn off your printer, unplug from the power source and disconnect USB cables as well. After a few moments, reconnect your printer and plug it back in. Then, turn your printer back on.

2. Print a “Quality Diagnostic Report” or a “Print Test Page”.

3. You can usually find this option on your printer’s display screen.  Or, check your printer’s user guide for step by step instructions.

4. Check printer ink levels to double check the ink volume in your cartridges. If you’re using aftermarket cartridges that don’t show ink levels, we’ll have to figure out another way to determine whether or not your ink cartridges are at fault.

Tips for Saving Money on Printer Ink and Toner

Are you frustrated by the high cost of printer ink and printer toner cartridges? You can pay more for an ink cartridge than an entire printer.

Printer companies will sell the printers at a loss in order to have you locked into buying their printer cartridges.

More Options for Buying Ink and Toner

With e-commerce, consumers have more choices for printer supplies, and there are many reputable companies selling printer ink and toner cartridges at significant savings, up to 80% less than common retail prices. Most offer a money back guarantee and will ship the same day. Here are eleven tips for saving money on printer ink and toner cartridges:

1. Buy Compatible Ink Cartridges | These are new cartridges made by alternative or third-party producers. You will generally have good luck with compatible cartridges.

2. Buy Remanufactured Ink Cartridges | Some companies collect empty printer ink cartridges and refill them. They are tested to verify that they perform properly and they frequently cost a fraction of price you pay for new OEM cartridges.

3. Buy an Ink Refill Kit | You can buy a kit that enables you to refill cartridges yourself. The kit includes step-by-step instructions, needed tools, and printer ink. Once you get the hang of it you can refill a cartridge in a couple of minutes.

4. Buy Compatible Ink Cartridges and Refills | Combine the savings by buying new compatible ink cartridges when needed, then refill them using an ink cartridge refill kit.

5. Use the Printer DRAFT Mode | If you are just printing a personal or review copy, select DRAFT or FAST DRAFT mode on your printer. It uses significantly less ink. Then, when you need the good or best quality, select NORMAL or BEST. This is usually under Advanced or Options in the print window.

6. Use Black and White Mode | If you don’t need to have color on the early draft of review copies, print it in black and white only. Color cartridges tend to go faster (since primary colors are combined) and cost more, so reducing the amount of color ink used will save money. Then reselect the Color mode when you are ready to print the final copy.

7. Buy a Compatible Toner Cartridge | Like ink cartridges, third party manufacturers also make new toner cartridges that meet original manufacturer specifications.

8. Buy a Remanufactured Cartridge | A large number of companies collect and refill empty toner cartridges. They are tested to verify performance and cost much less.

9. Buy a Toner Refill Kit | With the tools, toner, and instructions provided in toner refill kits you can refill toner cartridges yourself and save even more money. Toner cartridges can be reused about 3-4 times.

10. Replace the Toner Cartridge Drum | If the toner cartridge does not make quality prints, then replacing just the drum can be less expensive than replacing the whole cartridge.

11. Buy in Multipack Sets | If you use a substantial amount of ink or toner; buy it in bundles. You can save % when buying a multipack, and if you buy multipacks online you can save on shipping costs as well.

Ordering is usually easy and most reputable online merchandises offer a money back guarantee, so there is little risk as well. So what are you waiting for? Start saving money on printer ink and toner cartridges!

Use AirPrint to print from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Learn how to print from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to an AirPrint-enabled printer.

Before you begin

  • Confirm that your printer supports AirPrint.
  • Make sure that your iOS device and your printer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and that you’re within range.

Print with AirPrint

1. Open the app that you want to print from.
2. To find the print option, tap the app’s share icon — share-icon or share-inline-icon — or tap dots-icon.
3. Tap share-inline-icon or Print. If you can’t find the print option, check the app’s User Guide or Help section. Not all apps support AirPrint.
4. Tap Select Printer and choose an AirPrint-enabled printer.
5. Choose the number of copies or other options, like which pages you want to print.
6. Tap Print in the upper-right corner.

View or cancel your print job

While printing, you can view your print jobs or cancel them through the App Switcher.

View a print job

To view a print job, open the App Switcher, then tap Print Center.

Cancel a print job

To cancel a print job, open the App Switcher, tap Print Center, then tap Cancel Printing.

Tips And Tricks To Get Most Out Of Your Printer

Most small businesses (and individuals) have a home printer. It allows us to print documents, and may double as a scanner and photocopier too.

This blog offers some great tips and tricks to get the most out of your printer.

  • Challenging the “Low Toner/Ink” Notice
  • A Clean Printer is an Effective Printer
  • Easy Ways to Boost Print Quality
  • Where Has All the Ink Gone?
  • How to Print the Perfect Photo

Almost everyone has a home printer these days, allowing them to easily print documents and photos from home. But sometimes our printing jobs are less than easy. For everyone who has ever found themselves with a clogged printhead, smeary printouts, or a less-than-perfect photo,
here are some tips and tricks to try out.

Challenging the “Low Toner/Ink” Notice

Users may find they’re able to repeat these strategies a few times before they actually need to replace their cartridge.


The toner in laserjet printers can settle over time
This can cause streaking or faded areas

Remove the cartridge from the printer and shake it a few times
This will redistribute the toner


“Empty” ink cartridges may still have some ink in them
If an inkjet cartridge is reported as low:
1. Remove it from the printer
2. Gently shake the cartridge from side to side
3. Reinstall the cartridge

Declogging Solutions

When a “fat” inkjet cartridge, that has it’s printhead built in, doesn’t print any ink, dip it’s base into warm water

Dab the printhead dry on a piece of paper or kitchen towel

Once it leaves a clean line of ink, reinstall it into the printer

Most ink cartridges have a “use by” date

If the ink is stored or unused for too long, particles in the ink can clump together

These particles can clog the nozzle in the printhead

Printing at least once weekly will help keep printheads from drying out or clogging up

Adequate humidity can also help prevent printheads from drying out

A Clean Printer is an Effective Printer

Cover printers when not in use to prevent dust and other particles from accumulating on print rollers

Be wary of using canned or compressed air to clean printers

They can force dirt and dust deeper into the machine

Keep the area around the printer dust free

Do not use ammonia or ammonia-based cleaning products when cleaning printers

Ammonia can damage some kinds of plastic

Easy Ways to Boost Print Quality

Smeared printouts are usually caused by printhead obstructions

Clean or clear away anything blocking the printhead

Be careful not to scratch or damage the nozzle plate

Remove the ink cartridge

Ensure the printer is using the correct paper settings

Different kinds of paper are better for certain print jobs than others

tend to produce better images

is thin paper for everyday us

MID-WEIGHT PAPER is better for:

  • Double-sided printing
  • Crisper images

POSTER PAPER or cardstock is good for:
Posters / Flyers / Vivid colors

Printers also have a maximum width and paper thickness that they can handle
Users should check their printer spec to see the max paper weight (called gsm) it can take

Where Has All the Ink Gone?

Most printers use a small amount of ink when turned on

Keeping the printer on should reduce the number of times the printer has to go through its starting service routine

How to Print the Perfect Photo

Determine ideal print size
To select appropriate print size:
– Divide the picture’s dimension in pixels by desired DPI
– Those dimensions will be the maximum print size in inches

200 DPI ( dots per inch ) is considered average quality
300 DPI is high-quality

For example: A picture measuring 1600 by 1200 pixels
Divide each dimension by 200 for good quality and 300 for better quality

At 200 DPI : 8 x 6 inches
At 300 DPI : 5.3 x 4 inches

Consider Direct Printing

Some printers allow users to print:

  • Directly from the camera In a printer’s specifications, this is called “PictBridge”
  • Through a USB stick or memory card

Choose the Right Paper

There are three basic types of paper for photos. Each kind is suited for specific types of pictures:

1. MATTE :

  • Good for large pictures that are well-lit
  • Paper is not reflective, which eliminates glare
  • Images can be damaged by handling
  • Has smaller color gamut, which produces duller images


  • Images can be scratched and will hold fingerprints
  • Reflective paper can cause glare
  • Larger color gamut allows for bright, vibrant images


  • Less reflective than glossy paper
  • Images can be handled, will not smudge
  • Smaller color gamut than glossy, but is often close

Double-check Settings Before Printing

Be sure to SELECT THE CORRECT PAPER SETTINGS before printing
Don’t send a 6×4 photo print through as an A4 page.

DETERMINE which way the paper should be facing
Photo paper typically has one side which is designed to receive ink

Edit Photos from the Page, Not the Preview

CROP PHOTOS before printing

MAKE ADJUSTMENTS based on how the images look when printed
Photographs may look different in a camera, editing program, or printer preview

15 Tips and Tricks to Help You Get More From Your Printer

Even if you are completely satisfied with your printer’s performance, rumbling along completing all the tasks asked of it, there may be room for the machine to increase its output and exceed expectations. With these 15 tips and tricks, your humble printer could soon be performing at its absolute peak.

Find the Printer’s IP Address

Having the printer’s IP address to hand is incredibly useful, helping you connect with various devices.

If you require your printer’s IP address to complete tasks such as sharing the device with multiple computers, tablets and smart phones, this simple step-by-step guide can help you find it quickly and efficiently.


1. Open the Start Menu and click Control Panel.
2. Open Devices and Printers.
3. Right Click the printer of which you require the IP address.
4. Select Printer Properties and click the General tab.
5. The IP Address should be clearly stated in the Location box*

*If the Location box is empty, click on the Ports tab. Highlight the port which is checked off and click the ‘Configure Port…’ button. In the next window, the printer’s IP Address will be present in the ‘Printer Name or IP Address’ box.


1. Click on the Apple menu and select System Preferences
2. Open ‘Print & Fax’ in the menu.
3. Select the correct printer and click the Open Print Queue button.
4. The IP Address should be stated in the Location box*

*If the IP Address is not present in the Location box, MAC users can search through the CUPS web-based interface. Open the Safari browser and enter the following in the URL bar: Localhost:631/printers and click enter.

This will take you to a page with detailed information about the printers installed on the system. Under the Location section, you will see the Printer IP Address is listed.

Use Economy Mode

If your printer offers an economy mode and your print jobs don’t need to be photorealistic, this could be a great option to save ink or toner, and ensure those cartridges last a little bit longer.

And Any Energy Saving Features

Not only do these help protect the environment, they can also contribute to a lower consumption of energy.

Use Branded Consumables

It may be tempting to replace depleted cartridges with cheaper, non-branded consumables, but this may represent false economy. These replacements may not offer the same page yield as their branded brethren, so additional replacements may be necessitated immediately.

Squeeze the Cartridge Dry

The low ink warning light is essentially just a warning, so don’t bust out the replacement cartridges as soon as the light starts to flash. Wait until the print quality starts to diminish, then it’s time to consider the fresh ink or toner.

And Blast it with a Hairdryer

If you’re down to your last cartridge and it runs out just before the end of a job, you may be able to squeeze a little extra goodness out of it by removing it from the printer and giving it a quick blast with a hairdryer.

Invest in Cleaner Cartridges

If your inkjet printer’s quality of output is starting to fade but their cartridges are well-stocked, it may be caused by a blocked printhead. Investing in a cleaner cartridge to run through the printer should get that cleared up in next to no time.

Only Print What You Need

Whether selecting the exact pages you require or copy and pasting from a web browser into Word, ensuring you only print the info you require can help keep your ink and toner consumption down to a minimum.

And Print in Black-Only

When you require monochrome print outs. Printing in colour could risk using up some of the colour ink or toner – a potential waste of the good stuff.

Get Some High GSM Paper

Trying to impress someone? Well a high quality paper exudes professionalism, and is reassuringly affordable. At Fab Cartridges, we stock a huge selection of top quality reams of paper – which you can find right here.

Reduce Installed Printware

When installing a printer, you’ll often be called to install a load of software – some of which may not be necessary for your print requirements. When prompted opt for custom installation rather than recommended installation – then pick the bits and bobs you need. This can help reduce bloating your computer’s memory.

Use a Workhorse Printer

A dedicated workhorse printer for large, lower-quality jobs, can save you huge amounts. Saving the golden prince printer for only the high quality jobs. Perversely, investing in two printers could end up being better value that investing in one.

Sub-Edits and Checks

Don’t waste ink and paper with erroneous prints by carefully checking everything before it goes to the printer. If your eye for detail and grammar is not the strongest, employ the assistance of a colleague who is stronger in the field.

For the full range of Fab Cartridges products, visit our homepage or give us a ring on 09 217 2861.


How to install printer to Windows 10

Step by Step process

In this Windows 10,we’ll walk you through several scenarios to help install an printer that isn’t getting detected, refuses to install, or it’s no longer compatible.

How to install an printer using advanced setup

When the system isn’t detecting your printer automatically, you can still add the device manually depending on the connection type and age of the printer.

Important: Before proceeding, make sure that your computer is connected to the internet to allow Windows Update to download additional drivers

Installing printer automatically

If you’re trying to add an older printer locally using a USB cable or wireless connection, use these steps:

1. Open Settings.
2. Click on Devices.
3. Click on Printers & scanners.
4. Click the Add a printer or scanner button.

5. Wait a few moments.
6. Click The printer that I want isn’t listed option.

7. Select the My printer is a little older. Help me find it. option.

8. Select your printer from the list.
9. Click the Next button.

10. Type a name for the printer.
11. Click the Next button.

12. Select the Do not share this printer option.
13. Click the Next button.

14. Click the Print a test page option to confirm that the device is working.

15. Click the Finish button.

Once you’ve completed the steps, you should be able to start printing to the device.

Installing a network printer manually

In the case that you’re dealing with a network printer, you can try to create a manual connection using the device IP address with these steps:

1. Open Settings.
2. Click on Devices.
3. Click on Printers & scanners.
4. Click the Add a printer or scanner button.

5. Wait a few moments.
6. Click The printer that I want isn’t listed option.

7. Select the Add a printer using TCP/IP address or hostname option.

8. Click the Next button.
9. Use the “Device type” drop-down menu and select the TCP/IP Device option.
10. In the “Hostname or IP address” field, type the IP address of the printer. For example,

Note: If you don’t know the TCP/IP configuration of your printer, you will be able to find this information using the device built-in screen. However, not all printers are created equal, which means that you’ll need to check your manufacturer support website for more details.

11. In the “Port name” field, leave the default name (recommended) or type a new name.

12. Check the Query the printer and automatically select the driver to use option (recommended).
13. Click the Next button.
14. Type a name for the printer.

15. Click the Next button.
16. Select the Do not share this printer option.

17. Click the Next button.
18. Click the Print a test page option to confirm that the device is working.

19. Click the Finish button.

After completing the steps, the network printer should now be ready for any application.

Installing a local printer manually

Alternatively, if the previous steps didn’t work, and you’re trying to connect an old printer using a parallel or serial (USB) cable that the OS refuses to detect, then use these steps:

1. Open Settings.
2. Click on Devices.
3. Click on Printers & scanners.
4. Click the Add a printer or scanner button.

5. Wait a few moments.
6. Click The printer that I want isn’t listed option.

7. Select the Add a local printer or network printer option.

8. Click the Next button.
9. Select the port (interface) that you’re currently using with the “Use an existing port drop-down menu. For example, if you’re using a USB cable, then select the USB option. If you’re using a parallel cable with a DB-25 adapter, then select the LPT1 port.

10. Click the Next button.
11. Click the Windows Update option.

Note: Windows 10 no longer ships with the basic printer and scanner drivers, so when you click the Windows Update button, it’ll take a while to populate the drivers from the cloud.

12. On the left, select the printer manufacturer.
13. On the right, select the printer model.

Quick Tip: If the model of your printer isn’t listed and you don’t have the controller, you can try selecting the closest driver available. Alternatively, you can click the Have Disk button to supply inf printer driver.

14. Click the Next button.
15. Type a name for the printer.

16. Click the Next button.
17. Select the Do not share this printer option.

18. Click the Next button.
19. Click the Print a test page option to confirm that the device is working.

20. Click the Finish button.
Once you’ve completed the steps, if the test printed successfully, the device should now be available from all applications.